Dec. 23, 2011
For immediate release
For more information, contact:
Bonnie J. Prigge, (573) 265-2993
TAC ranks Meramec Region’s transportation needs
Declares Highway 63 and Highway 50 improvements as top priority
ST. JAMES—The Meramec Region Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) reaffirmed that the four-laning of Highways 63 and 50 remain the highest priorities in the region during its Dec. 8 meeting. At the same time, the group recognized that funding for those projects is still yet to be identified so it is important to identify smaller, more fundable projects for inclusion in upcoming Statewide Transportation Improvement Plans, prepared by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).
Connie Willman, MRPC planning manager, asked committee members to update the prioritization list of state transportation needs because of MoDOT’s district realignment. All eight Meramec counties are a part of the 18-county Central District, headquartered in Jefferson City. Previously, five counties were in District 9 in Willow Springs and three were in District 5 in Jefferson City.
Willman asked TAC members to look for local projects that had regional significance. The top three regional priorities as voted by TAC and pending approval by the MRPC board are (1) the need of a third lane on Krausetown Road and the junction of Highway 28/19 in Gasconade County, (2) the need for a passing lane on Route 8 from the Potosi east city limits to the St. Francois County line and (3) widening Route 32/72 from Salem to the Dent County line.
In order to complete the needs prioritization for the region, TAC members from each of the eight Meramec Region counties – Crawford, Dent, Gasconade, Maries, Osage, Phelps, Pulaski and Washington – reviewed the list of needs, made necessary changes to the list and then chose the top three needs per county. These needs were placed on charts for all members to consider.
The final regional needs list was determined as TAC members, using dots, voted from a compiled list of the top three needs from each county.
The TAC’s finalized needs prioritization list for the region will be presented to the MRPC board at its Jan. 12 meeting and officially presented to MoDOT at a Jan. 18 planning partners meeting. MRPC staff, along with Lake of the Ozarks Council of Local Governments and Mid-Missouri Regional Planning Commission, will work with MoDOT to determine what work can be included in MoDOT’s next round of funding.
Staff also asked the TAC to review the priority order of the seven proposed sections for widening of Highway 63 to make it a four-lane highway. The TAC had originally made input in 2009, when there were still two MoDOT districts within Meramec Region counties. Essentially, the TAC had two priority sections – one in each MoDOT district. The committee approved a motion to keep the prioritization ranking of the Highway 63 projects as presented with the eight-mile section from south of Maries County Road 443 to the Super 2 pavement in Phelps County near Rolla as being the top priority followed by the five-mile Osage County section running from south of Highway 50 at the MariOsa Delta to north of Westphalia.
In other business, the TAC:
• Heard an update of MoDOT projects in the region from MoDOT Central District Area Engineer Preston Kramer. Kramer informed the committee that 2011 construction projects have been completed, including roundabouts in Rolla and I-44 improvements in the district. Crews have completed mowing for the season and are currently working on tree trimming and repairing edge drop-offs.
• Heard a report from Bonnie Prigge, MRPC executive director, who stated MoDOT is in the process of completing a statewide rail study, a group has formed informally to ensure that industrial rail needs are included in the plan to ensure future access to federal grants. Some businesses from the Meramec Region are involved.
Persons needing more information on MRPC’s Transportation Advisory Committee may contact MRPC at (573) 265-2993. The group will meet again at 4 p.m. Feb. 9, 2011. Meetings are open to the public.
Editor’s Note: The TAC’s needs prioritization list by county is as follows:
- Address safety concerns for bridge over Crooked Creek about three miles north of the Dent County line on Route 19.
- Address sight distance concerns on Route 19 at the junction of Route C.
- Address the one-lane neck of the bridge over Dry Fork Creek on Route 49.
- Widen Route 32/72 from Salem to the Dent County line.
- Widen Highway 19 from the Crawford County line to the Shannon County line.
- Address safety concerns for the narrow bridge over Gladden Creek on Highway 19.
- Add a third lane to Highway 28 in Owensville between Krausetown Road and the Highway 28/19 junction.
- Widen Frene Creek Bridge on Highway 19 in Hermann and improve drainage.
- Improve safety at the intersection of Highway 100 and Route J.
- Asphalt county road approaches where they intersect state highways.
- Improve safety at Highway 63/28 at the Y intersection south of Vienna.
- Improve bridge decks on Highway 42 over the Maries River.
- Improve safety on Highway 63 from Westphalia to Freeburg.
- Improve intersection at Route E/Highway 63 between Westphalia and Freeburg.
- Improve safety of Route E from Highway 89 to Highway 63.
- Install additional lanes on Highway 63 from I-44/63 to one-fourth miles south of the Highway 63/72 intersection.
- Install pedestrian crossing under Highway 63 at Tenth Street.
- Connect north outer road from Route V to Highway 63 north of I-44.
- Improve road alignment 1.9 miles north of Crocker city limits on Highway 17.
- Widen Highway 28 from I-44 to Highway 63.
- Improve intersection north on Route Y from Lantern Route.
- Replace bridge deck on Highway 32 over Cedar Creek.
- Install passing lanes on Highway 8 east of Potosi city limits to St. Francois County line.
- Improve bridge and bridge approach over Wallen Creek between Route 8 and Route M.
TAC committee members prioritize regional transportation needs. Committee members from the left are Jim Kleffner of Maries County, Robert Schaffer of Crawford County, Richard Huse of Maries County (partially hidden), Elmer Senevey of Osage County and John Petersen of Phelps County.
TAC committee members discussed transportation priorities at the county levels, before the regional prioritization effort. Here TAC members Ron Jost and John Kamler discuss Gasconade County needs while Elmer Senevey and Dave Dudenhoeffer review Osage County needs.